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Podcast 88 Transcript
A transcript for Episode 88: "Owls as Pets" (2014-01-06).
jingle: (theme music)
mathowie: So I guess this is podcast 88 of the Metafilter Podcast -
mathowie: - featuring me, mathowie, and -
jessamyn: Me, Jessamyn West!
cortex: And me, Josh Millard!
- We've had a bangin' month.
mathowie: How would we go about - are we picking the best of the best, or do you want to recap the best of each week, or are we just doing our personal
mathowie: favorites, as they overlap, with a Venn diagram?
jessamyn: I was just going to do what I always do, which is talk about the stuff that I liked, and realize that I didn't look at enough stuff that was great when you guys tell me about the stuff that you liked, although we could talk about the contest, because we've now posted the wrap-up post. We're waiting to hear from Miko about one thing.
mathowie: Yeah, I was thinking there are only 12 links, I guess, in total.
jessamyn: Dude, I posted 20!
cortex: Well, plus the other 20 or whatever.
mathowie: I know.
jessamyn: My fingers are nubs.
mathowie: I'm just saying that we ought to--
cortex: You are a superhero for tackling that last one.
cortex: I didn't know how we were going to do that, but it turns out you were just going to do it!
jessamyn: (chuckles) I wasn't thinking! I wasn't thinking! (chuckles)
cortex: I figured we'd divvy up the special topical prizes and everybody would do like five and just throw them together.
jessamyn: I didn't think! And then it was too late!
cortex: And then you just did it.
jessamyn: Well, I just woke up this morning and was like, "Eff it, I'm just, aaaah!" Gonna get it done.
mathowie: Gotta get it done.
cortex: That's the spirit.
jessamyn: What else was I going to do? I was going to be typing anyhow.
mathowie: Well, I was thinking, if we had to lightning-round it, the top three from each week could be pretty fast,
- if we had to do it that way.
jessamyn: If we had to.
mathowie: Had to.
cortex: But we don't have to, because freedom!
jessamyn: This would have been one of those things that we should have prepared for, if this was gonna be the plan.
mathowie: Well, it's a once-a-year thing, so I couldn't remember what we did in the past.
jessamyn: But, I mean, we could have talked about it, is what I'm saying. At any point before now.
mathowie: Yeah. Your thing, you said, "Hey, let's hit record! I won't talk about it."
jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)
jessamyn: Planning is not three minutes, Matt! Planning can be like a day ahead of time. Sometimes two!
mathowie: Ohhh, yeah.
cortex: To be fair, you can cover a lot of your ass in about three minutes if you need to, you know.
- There's value in that, you know...
jessamyn: I have a very narrow, narrow ass.
mathowie: (quietly) There's always a butt.
jessamyn: As do you. Medium-sized.
cortex: It's, yeah, it's certainly not the donkey.
mathowie: Well, let's go old-school normal.
cortex: No one's ever said, "Oh man, look at the ass on that guy."
mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)
jessamyn: I'm sure somebody has.
cortex: Look at that big old thing.
mathowie: If we went through the typical pattern through Metafilter, I guess Jobs, there was a cool calligraphy job, a couple web developer jobs...
jessamyn: Was that the klangklangston job?
jessamyn: Yeah, they were hiring somebody at their place. They were hiring an intern, and he needed somebody to help him with his calligraphy.
mathowie: In Korean. Pretty cool.
cortex: Oh, and timing-wise, I don't know if I, this would have been just right on the cusp of the last one, but there's also a job from Paizo [ˈpaɪzoʊ], or Paizo [ˈpɛɪzoʊ], I can't remember how they actually say their name, but the place that publishes Pathfinder, a big RPG sourcebook game system thing.
cortex: So yeah, if you want to do customer service for a roleplaying game, boom!
jessamyn: Sure! That looks cool. Do you have to live in Redmond? You have to live in Redmond.
mathowie: Do you have to collect your paycheck after solving a series of increasingly difficult puzzles?
cortex: (laughs) Roll to save against excise tax!
jessamyn: That's what I feel like I have to do just logging into our HR portal.
mathowie: Oh, that's true. God. Don't remind me.
mathowie: Do you just want to jump into Projects?
jessamyn: Sure! You can talk about how your New Year was. How was your New Year, guys?
cortex: My New Year was--
jessamyn: Did you have a nice time? Josh, you worked the whole time.
cortex: Yeah, (laughing) I didn't really think that through ahead of time.
cortex: It turns out that getting off the clock 7:00 on New Year's Eve and then getting on the clock 7:00 on New Year's Day is not a real good plan if you plan to be up for the New Year as well.
cortex: So I had a very nice time, we went over to a couple of friends' house, me and Angela, and just had a laid-back time, played some board games, drank a couple beers, chattered about stuff, and, you know, happy New Year, and then went home and then
- yeah, just got up five hours after I went to bed and just felt like... it was the worst hangover I've had in a while, and I hadn't even drunk to get it.
jessamyn: And you probably just could have slept it off entirely.
cortex: Yeah. It was straight-up sleep deprivation, but I felt like I'd done something incredibly stupid, and in the sense that I stayed up until 2 a.m. and I'm not used to that, I guess I did, but it seems unfair, like I'm starting to be an adult instead of a...
jessamyn: Not adult.
cortex: Yeah. Yeah. I'm losing steadily that resilience of being young and stupid and so now I'm just not getting enough sleep. It feels like a huge tactical error, the sort of thing that I should...
jessamyn: Plan against.
cortex: Yeah. But other than that it was very nice.
jessamyn: This may be the theme. This may be the theme for this podcast.
cortex: Yeah. I feel like I'm sort of hitting the ground running a little slow this year so far, mostly. But it's been a nice enough New Year so far, once I got some sleep that day. Everything's been--
jessamyn: Great! I had a special--
jessamyn: Great! I had a special sweater that I wore to the annual neighborhood party, and Jim and I went and had a raging good time and then came home and slept and then woke up the next morning and went out and got some poutine.
jessamyn: And other delicious food before I worked that evening, which was no big deal.
mathowie: There's local poutine in Vermont now?
jessamyn: Yeah! Well, we're really close to Canada, and so the farther north you drive in Vermont, the more likely you are to find a place that serves poutine.
- And this isn't sort of super trad, it didn't, the cheese wasn't quite curdish squeaky, but it was still pretty good, and whatever. New Year's Day poutine, delicious.
mathowie: Sounds cool!
jessamyn: This was a diner in Barre. I was up the road from jonmc's grandparents.
mathowie: Oh, cool.
mathowie: Mine was mostly quiet, and I just remember feeling like a old man complaining about how much fireworks my stupid neighbors have.
mathowie: That woke every dog in the neighborhood and woke my daughter and it was just a mess.
- I don't feel like I slept.
jessamyn: But that's... I talked to goodnewsfortheinsane, to Paul, and I forgot, I guess, that the European tradition especially is just like, bam, bam, bam! Like, eight million fireworks. Nobody here had fireworks for whatever reason. But I remember that from living in eastern Europe, that it was just a... like, if you were going to bed early, forget it! You were going to wake up again at midnight when the fireworks show went outside, and I had forgotten, but Paul was like, "Euhhh! Yeah!"
jessamyn: "I'm going to hide out at my friend's house from the fireworks, because oh god." (laughs)
jessamyn: Yeah. Well, I guess... are your neighbors European, Matt?
mathowie: No, they're just... rednecks? (laughs)
jessamyn: Dicks? (laughs) But my neighbors are, and they go to bed early, I think.
mathowie: Well, we had this, if you love Duck Dynasty or something like that, you'd probably love fireworks from Vancouver, Washington just over the border.
mathowie: Which are quarter-sticks of dynamite.
mathowie: There's some dumb macho stuff going on. So I think people, they drive really far and they get a bunch of high-powered fireworks and they hold onto them all year.
mathowie: So I was wondering, is there some rogue fireworks stand in Washington thanks to weird laws, and I asked friends that were into it, and they were like, "No, not really, there is some weird Indian reservation in southern Washington that can sell fireworks any time of year, but I think your neighbors all just held on to them from July."
mathowie: And I was like, that's some planning, because stuff was blowing up for 15 minutes.
mathowie: And it was apparently across the entire town. Friends on the other side of town said "oh, god, the fireworks. Our dog was freaking out, tore up our bathroom and stuff." (chuckles)
mathowie: Yeah, it's weird.
jessamyn: Yeah. I never think of it as being a New Year's thing, but maybe it's coming back in vogue, which would be maybe too bad.
mathowie: Yeah, yeah. I don't remember it in past years.
jessamyn: Because fourth of July, at least, people go to bed early. And you can kind of plan for it.
mathowie: I mean, I went to bed at like 11:30 or something, and I just remember being half-asleep and then boom, boom, boom.
- And my daughter's going like, "What's going onn?! What the hell?" Freaked out.
jessamyn: You're like, "It's the end times."
mathowie: Yeah. And then it wouldn't shut up until 15 minutes later, and so I kind of felt old.
jessamyn: That's not too bad.
mathowie: So New Year's was pretty good.
jessamyn: Pretty good.
mathowie: I guess let's go to Metafilter Projects. Any favorites for December?
jessamyn: I had a couple that I liked. One that I really liked, although I don't totally understand
- well, here you go. It's called "Warranty Porn".
mathowie: Oh, yeah. (laughs)
jessamyn: And it's from Foci for Analysis. And it's a Tumblr blog, but it's kind of weird, because if you go to the Tumblr blog, there's just two posts and they're both from August?
jessamyn: So it looked like they posted it to Projects, but there's nothing on it? But if you go to the archives, there's a ton of stuff on it. But basically, the general premise is, these are products that come with great warranties. And by 'great warranties' meaning you the consumer are protected for all sorts of things.
jessamyn: "My thesis," this is their thesis, "is that a great warranty is the best product quality indicator there is on the market," and so it's just like a little post, you know, craftsman tools, for instance, and a couple of other things.
jessamyn: And so psoas [ˌsoʊˈæs]? psoas [ˈsoʊs]? posted, and then Colonel Panic basically posted, "GRUMP GRUMP GRUMP, you posted one thing and I tried to return it and GRUMP!"
jessamyn: And I didn't know what to do, like--(dissolves in laughter)
jessamyn: You get two comments, and one of them's like, "Yay!" and one of them's like, "Boo! My... grump!" And so I left another comment, like "I like it. What's going on with the August thing?" But I just thought it was a neat little idea.
mathowie: I had it in my list of favorites, because I thought it was a great idea, but it essentially boils down to things with a lifetime warranty is really what gets listed there.
mathowie: And I've had mixed results with lifetime warranty stuff.
- Some people say, buy this craftsman tool because you can return it after thirty years of abuse and they'll give you a brand new one, and I don't know if that's always the case. I think I've had one experience like that where they said, "Yeah! Sure! Fine!" And every other time it's like, "Ohh, send it to corporate and maybe they'll send you a letter back." I don't know if it... does it happen that well for you? Lifetime warranty stuff?
jessamyn: Yeah, you know, I'm familiar with it with crap from REI or L. L. Bean's that falls apart after five years. I've gotten one or two things warranty-handled, like REI will replace zippers on old stuff, which is kind of neat. L. L. Bean used to be the thing you could buy from thrift stores, because if you got a thing from a thrift store but it was sort of falling apart they'd replace it.
mathowie: Oh, right.
jessamyn: The company store has a lifetime replacement on some of their down stuff, or they'll refill stuff for small charges, so if you've got a comforter that you love
- but the fluff has gotten all un-fluffed they'll re-fluff it for you for a small fee. I have good luck with it, but I'm one of those smarmy phone people, like, "Let's see what we can do to work this out for both of us!"
mathowie: (chuckles) Yeah.
jessamyn: Instead of being like, "My shit broke! Fix it!"
mathowie: Yeah. "Gimme free!"
jessamyn: "It's your fault! I need some free stuff!" I feel like a lot of it's in the approach, but that may just be because I'm a sort of benign middle-aged lady and people are like, "Oh, sure, whatever, you're not trying to pull something over on us."
mathowie: And there's always a distance between you and your thing and the company that has the warranty. If that distance from me is as short as possible, like REI, you walk in, you hand it over, they go, "Great!", and they hand you a new thing, that's awesome.
mathowie: But the whole, do I have to mail something to New Hampshire, which is far from me...
jessamyn: I had a Swiss Army clock that was kind of an expensive clock and it was one of those things where you had to mail it to corporate and then maybe they'd fix it?
jessamyn: Or maybe they'd tell you it was going to cost a ton of money to fix it?
- And I was kind of like, if you're not going to fix it, maybe throw it away?
jessamyn: Because I'm not going to pay that much money to fix it, but if you would fix it for free because all the glow-in-the-dark paint fell off it, that would be great! But euhhh. Yeah. I feel like the world of warranties is really, like, there's Amazon, where they're like, "We'll just take whatever back for no reason," most of the time, and then--
mathowie: Amazon's like a lazy dude in a dorm that's like, "Shut up! I'll just send you a new one. This sounds too complicated."
mathowie: "I don't want to... shipping? Forget it. Don't even send it back to me. Just keep the broken one. Don't worry about it." They're pretty awesome.
jessamyn: Right. And Apple used to be that way, and they've gotten a little bit more... just business-minded, I think, is the smartest way to be.
jessamyn: Because now my magic mouse quit being magic--
jessamyn: And I called them and I was like, "Dude, it sucks down batteries." We were talking about this a while ago.
mathowie: Right. Yeah, like--
jessamyn: And so they were totally great about "we'll send you a box" and whatever, but
- there was also this implied threat that if there's nothing wrong with it, we're charging you 90 bucks or whatever the hell it is for a new mouse.
mathowie: For a new mouse, yeah.
jessamyn: And I was like, but... no! I figured I'd fight with them about that when the time came, because I was pretty sure there was something wrong with it, but I think that just scares people off who don't understand technology and means that they don't actually have to service some stuff that they should be servicing.
mathowie: Yeah. One of the Projects was interesting, this Blorpy, because it came up like six months ago or a year ago when it launched,
- someone found it I think on MetaTalk, or I can't remember if they e-mailed this or did a MetaTalk post where they just said, like, "What the hell is this? This thing is repurposing our comments!" It was just basically supposed to be best stories from Quora or Reddit or Metafilter found by one person, digging out the gold from these giant sites. And it's interesting, and I e-mailed the guy who runs it whenever it launched going like,
- "Please at least have a link back to the original thing, and be careful about quoting the entire thing, if you can just quote the best parts." I showed him the Best Of blog, so here's how we handled the same story, I showed one paragraph, and... He was a lot better about linking to Metafilter after that. Because some people were like, yeah, this is this attribution-free Tumblr blog of things this guy's ripping off from these sites, including
- Metafilter. So I made him understand that it'd be cool if he would link to the original things so people could see it in context and stuff.
mathowie: And so it was weird that he joined and then... or he'd always been around. So he posted it, like, it's been around for six months or a year, and then it got on the front page, which was, I like it because I don't have time to read any of Reddit at all, and sometimes there's good stories out of it. And same with Quora, which is just gigantic.
jessamyn: Yeah, I saw that, and that was the thing, when I saw it in Projects, I was like, wait, didn't I? Didn't we? I thought we...
jessamyn: So thanks for explaining that, because I just looked at it confusedly, like, I already saw it somewhere, but augh.
mathowie: And I was also like, seeing it again for the first time and looking at my favorites, it's kind of... the name is very similar, oh, Shorpy!
jessamyn: Shorpy! Which has the stolen pictures from...
cortex: Yeah. (laughs)
mathowie: Right, but they're all, not Creative Commons, they're all public domain.
jessamyn: Maybe. Maybe, maybe, maybe they are.
mathowie: Yeah, I know. Some of them. Most of them are public domain, so it's okay to steal, but yeah, basically, confusingly similar in my mind. Those "-orpy" sites that steal things.
- I'm sure there's a whole bunch more of them, right?
mathowie: There's probably Blorpy, Clorpy.
jessamyn: That's the sort of thing I wish I could search Google for.
cortex: (laughs) Clorpy, it's all about dead -
jessamyn: I typed in "orpy" and now I found the Grand Ole Opry.
jessamyn: Because Google thinks it knows my mind.
mathowie: There should be a metaTumblr blog of them, like fuckyeahorpysites.
jessamyn: (deep laugh)
mathowie: Just links to, "Here's one that steals recipes! Food orpy!"
mathowie: Oh, I also liked, I wanted to mention adrianhon's cool Kickstarter project is done, and he published the things from the Kickstarter project. The History of the Future in 100 Objects.
jessamyn: I loved that.
mathowie: And it's a play on a BBC thing that did the History of the World in 100 Objects, but
- went through the past, so he had to invent things that happen in the next hundred years that were kind of funny, and yeah, made up a whole...
jessamyn: And he made a digital book, and then he printed a print book? Or no? Or... but there's a website.
mathowie: Yeah, there's a PDF.
jessamyn: Oh, there's a physical book also.
mathowie: Yeah. I think I have a PDF, I think I backed it at a low level on Kickstarter where I got a PDF of it a month or two before it went live. And I haven't even got time to read it all because it's so extensive, but it's a fun little thought project
- and creative work.
jessamyn: Yeah! I thought it was neat. I sort of looked through it. One of the other things in Projects that I saw that I thought was cool was danb, who--
mathowie: Aha! That was my next one.
jessamyn: Aah, good!
cortex: Yep! Consensus.
jessamyn: danb, who I know as a Boston-area MeFite who does video game stuff, basically did a Tumblr blog, I think Tumblr blog?
cortex: Yeah, [??]
jessamyn: Do you even have to say Tumblr blog anymore? Called The Good Notes Are Circled.
jessamyn: Where he transcribes a little bit of music and then circles the notes that he likes.
mathowie: This is, as a beginning piano person who has to read music a lot, I love this for that idea, but I also totally identified with it. I was spending the last couple months learning every Christmas classic there is.
jessamyn: You poor man.
mathowie: And you get to a point, yeah, and the whole family's sick of O Tannenbaum and--
jessamyn: As they should be.
mathowie: --Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire over and over and over and over and over. There's always a little segment
- in two or three pages of music where it feels like DDR when you've figured out the trick to totally nail a section, where you go, oh, yeah, I cross my thumb over, and it's pleasing, and it's usually a fast section, and once you've figured it out, you're just stoked to get to that spot. So I can see this in the things he circles, like, oh, yeah, those are fun. I can tell. (chuckles) Oh, man, it would be great to get that part wired.
jessamyn: Yeah, and I just thought it was a cute fun little blog of goofy stuff. Yeah. It was neat. It made me happy.
mathowie: Oh, so he transcribed these. I was wondering where does he get the sheet music? It's kind of expensive.
jessamyn: Yeah, he does the transcription and then...
cortex: Yeah, it's partly the excuse for him to do some transcription.
mathowie: Wow. Super neat.
cortex: But yeah, I really liked that too. I identify with a lot of songs in very much that way. It'll be a nice song. But there's some little thing that just, like, that was the moment in the song that just
- clicked for me. Or that's just the moment of badass where it's like, fuck yeah. If a song goes on the radio, and maybe you just got wherever you were driving and you don't want to wait and sit through a whole song, but you'll sit and wait for thirty seconds for that little bit, because that's [??], "yeah!"
jessamyn: For it to go, (singily) "Whooooa!" or whatever the thing is.
cortex: Yeah. That's where it just hits it. That's where the magic is. And yeah, so. I identified with that idea a lot.
mathowie: This is The Sweater Song. He likes the very last four repeated notes.
jessamyn: What's The Sweater Song?
mathowie: Weezer's first big hit.
mathowie: Sounds like it's just the fade-out at the end.
cortex: It's this weird little slightly out-of-scale thing, with the natural on the upper of those two.
jessamyn: (sings, underscoring cortex) "To destroy my sweater / [??] while I walk away / Watch it unravel, I'll soon be naked."
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
cortex: And yeah, it just sort of like, (sings) "La-mon-dah!"
jessamyn: (sings) "Ha-da-ba-da! Wah-da-wahh!"
cortex: And it's against a major scale there, that minor note, so it's got this weird dissonance that really just fucking, yeah.
mathowie: That's an A.
cortex: It's great! It's a great moment. It's a great goddamned moment.
cortex: Well, it's an A when it should be an A sharp according to the scale.
mathowie: Sharp, yeah.
cortex: And so that dissonance just really drives this piercing two-part harmony thing that they're doing dragging that out.
jessamyn: Well, that was kind of Weezer's thing in the first place, right? Their odd harmonies sounded a little bit like that. I mean, without me knowing the real words, that there was a weird slightly out of sync harmony to some of their harmonies beneath them.
cortex: Sometimes, yeah.
jessamyn: That made them seem more garage band-y, I think, than they actually were.
cortex: Yeah. And that combined with the really full sound of the guitar harmonizations they tend to use, just, yeah. It's a neat wall of sound sort of effect.
mathowie: And all I remember from Weezer is The Sweater Song was like #1 or something when they opened for a band I saw in college, and I was sick of The Sweater Song.
mathowie: It was the kind of thing where you go to the supermarket and there's a Muzak version of it, and every store's playing it, and it's
- on the radio every five minutes, hated their guts, until I saw them open live, and I'm sorry, Rivers Cuomo is the most charismatic, the whole band, I was like, this is the greatest band, I loved them.
jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)
mathowie: After 45 minutes I was a Weezer fan for life. I was like, so good, oh my god, I love the Sweater Song. I have no idea what it is they did on stage, but they were so good live.
jessamyn: Well, and they did that other "Oo-ee-oo, I look just like Buddy Holly". They did that one, right?
cortex: That was the other huge one. But half the songs off that album, yeah.
mathowie: Yeah. The entire Blue Album is amazing!
jessamyn: But that one shipped with every Windows 95 computer!
cortex: Oh, right, right, it had that little music video.
mathowie: The Happy Days.
jessamyn: When I'd never seen a video on a computer before.
mathowie: Right, Happy Days.
jessamyn: And then there's fricking Weezer, yeah.
jessamyn: It came with a CD with extras.
mathowie: I remember I didn't find that for six months after I had a Windows 95 and I was like, "Why... is this here? But okay? Okay."
jessamyn: It was kind of strange. But cool at the same time.
jessamyn: I mean, I thought so. I hadn't seen, yeah, videos. It's hard to think back to when that was. '96 or something like that?
mathowie: '95 or 6, yeah. Any other favorite Projects posts? Those are all of mine.
jessamyn: No, those are all of mine.
cortex: Yeah, those were the ones that jumped out at me.
mathowie: I guess Metafilter stuff? (pitch rising toward end)
cortex: Metafilter stuff!
mathowie: I have a billion favorites.
jessamyn: Good to work on your vocal fry, Matt.
mathowie and cortex: (laugh)
mathowie: (high-pitched) Up-talking much?
jessamyn: (laughs) I have more on Ask Metafilter and just a couple on Metafilter proper, so.
mathowie: Oh, why don't we go to Metafilter just to... should we go fast?
mathowie: Eh, forget the super-favorites contest.
jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)
cortex: Hey, the contest, we've made four Metatalk posts about it.
cortex: There's a bunch of great stuff. What are the things that I--?
jessamyn: I had one favorite from Metafilter that also won the contest and was also just great in lots of ways--
mathowie: Oh, right.
jessamyn: --in a way that I thought might have been pandering except that jetlagaddict is also a librarian. But it was just a nice collection of neat blogs from libraries, and everyone should check it out in case you missed it in the contest or everywhere else, especially because it has these really cool things like these crazy owls. There's a blog called Hidden Collections.
jessamyn: Yeah! And it's just a bunch of owl plates. And it just looks really neat.
cortex: There are some great little owls.
jessamyn: So if you're in the Tumblrverse, there's a whole bunch of really nifty stuff in there and you can follow different libraries.
mathowie: Oh, those book plates are really old, right?
cortex: Are these Dutch owls?
mathowie: 1800s? So have owls always been associated with (laughs) the whole professor hat, the whole glasses?
jessamyn: Yeah! They were always thought of as being wise.
mathowie: Wise old owl, yeah. Huh.
jessamyn: Why are owls always personified as wise?
mathowie: Why are owls--?
jessamyn: Owls in mythology and culture.
- The Owl Pages.
jessamyn: Yeah. You can read this in all your free time.
cortex: I gotta say, on the contest thing, I really like that we made the decision to move to the fantastic flag-driven thing, because it really has made it so I don't feel like I spend the entire month being super stressed about trying to keep track of everything that got posted on Metafilter. So it's nice! And we've got people, the userbase is flagging stuff, and we can say, oh, this is what people flagged a lot! So okay, these are the ones.
jessamyn: Agree entirely.
jessamyn: Historically, there were times when we had to choose the ones that we liked, and it was hard to read everything, and it was hard to...
mathowie: There's so--! Yeah.
cortex: It's hard to stay excited about the stuff you're even excited about, because it's like, this is the thousandth post I've, yeah, exactly.
jessamyn: Well, by the end of the month you're like, whatever.
mathowie: There's literally 785 posts or something you have to go through.
jessamyn: Is that true? Or is that you pulling that number out of your butt?
mathowie: I mean, it's a little over 20 a day! Let me see what the Lab said. (chuckles) I'll come back to you in a sec.
jessamyn: I haven't even read that post yet.
cortex: Well, one that I did like, that I mentioned the week that I did the prize announcing, was the Cookie Clicker Grandma's GIFT thing.
jessamyn: I can't even talk about Cookie Clicker anymore!
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
cortex: How are you doing with that? Did you crash, or...?
jessamyn: I told you! I got to the Grandma Apocalypse, and then I stopped, and I saved my game, and I'm waiting until I have free time again, and maybe when I retire.
jessamyn: I'm afraid.
cortex: See, you should just leave it running the entire time in the meantime.
jessamyn: But with the grandma thing, the grandmas come and they do this stuff and you have to shoot them! Like, suddenly you have to be involved!
cortex: But you don't, you don't, though, that's the thing! You don't!
cortex: It seems like something you'd have to deal with, but it's actually a good thing!
cortex: Those little Wrinkler things that come up and start chewing on the cookie?
cortex: They eat your cookies, but then they never go away, and then you can pop them and get the cookies back from them, plus interest. So if you leave them sitting there and eating on the cookie for a day and then come back and pop them all, you're actually going to get six times as many cookies as you would have gotten if you'd sat there clicking them dutifully to keep them off the cookie.
cortex: It's totally crazy! So yeah.
jessamyn: I had no idea!
cortex: It's the secrets of the universe.
- So yeah, you can just ignore it while leaving it running in a browser for a month and you'll have so many cookies when you come back. It's crazy.
mathowie: (chuckles) You can sell a grandma? Oh my god.
cortex: Yep. You can totally sell.
jessamyn: Buy and sell grandmas.
mathowie: So it's just going to make half a cookie. Sweet! I can just close that.
jessamyn: I basically did my nerdy library thing and wound up reading more about Cookie Clicker than playing Cookie Clicker.
jessamyn: And then trying to explain it to people?
cortex: It's such a weird fun little cultural phenomenon. It's fantastic.
jessamyn: Which makes me sound like I have a drug problem.
mathowie: Oh, I really wanted to--
jessamyn: And then you can buy a factory! And then you can buy ten factories and they make cookies this fast!
jessamyn: People are like, "What are you, six?"
cortex: Yeah, I love the... almost just for the jargon, I love having high-level Cookie Clicker discussions with people in front of people who do not know anything about Cookie Clicker.
mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)
cortex: Because it sounds completely made up. It sounds like an invention of someone with a problem. But it's totally legit, man.
mathowie: I love the, at one point I really wanted to level up in the Breaking Bad rip-off of Cookie Clicker.
cortex: Oh, yeah, yeah, Clicking Bad or whatever it was.
mathowie: And if you go out looking for Mac OS automatic mouse clicking software, it is so the dregs of humanity.
mathowie: Like, these are people who are building things to cheat Google or something.
jessamyn: Well, because they're like gold farmers, right?
mathowie: Right, yeah! And it's a download from India, and it's a zip file, and you don't know if it's installing a keylogger...
mathowie: And it's so sketchy. I couldn't find one legitimate thing.
- I was like, I'll pay five dollars for just a legitimate, this thing clicks 1,000 times a second, four, five minutes, that's it, that's all that I want.
jessamyn: And that doesn't exist, is what you're saying.
cortex: And I think it's so funny, because, well, they do exist, but the thing is...
mathowie: They're all sketch.
cortex: You need to find the official forum for the game, is probably the safe place to get at that.
cortex: Because then people are talking... because a lot of people, I like the fact that people are cheating at these games in the sense that I like that cheating at them involves, if you're doing it right, if you're really doing roll-up-your-sleeves cheating, you're sitting down and writing yourself a
cortex: So you're actually sort of figuring out how to...
jessamyn: Or copying somebody else's, I mean, yeah.
cortex: Yeah, yeah. And that's less exciting, but still. The fact that people are sitting down and trying to actually do some coding--
cortex: Cheating by actually creating a thing, that's [??] a problem. Problem-solving. I like that, so.
mathowie: It's okay. Oh, the owl thing came up! The ten reasons you don't want an owl for a pet, speaking of owls.
jessamyn: My favorite! Where was that?
mathowie: That was so great! That was on Metafilter.
jessamyn: Oh. That was on my list, too.
cortex: I took that as Al, like some guy named Al is--
jessamyn: I don't want him as a pet either.
cortex: Are you swallowing the "f" on Alf? Well, you shouldn't have an Alf as a pet. He'll eat your cats!
mathowie: Richie Cunningham was wrong. You should not [??] owls.
jessamyn: Well, and it turned into sort of a funny doofy post where people were making up other owls.
jessamyn: Other owl reasons.
mathowie: Owl drawbacks. I thought I saw this...
jessamyn: Yeah. "Their advice is uniformly terrible, but when you try to tell it that, it gets all huffy and passive-aggressive."
jessamyn: And this is all actually, the original post is by somebody who has a rescue owl as a pet, and it's terrible!
mathowie: It sounds like the worst idea imaginable.
jessamyn: Like, that picture? Oh, oh! Did I tell you guys I saw a snowy owl last week?
jessamyn: Did I?
mathowie: The white kind?
cortex: You did not.
jessamyn: You don't even care. You don't even understand. There's an owl irruption.
jessamyn: So there's lots of lemmings in Canada now.
mathowie: Ooh, delicious.
jessamyn: Which means that owls had lots of babies, and now there's lots of extra
- owls in Canada, and there's too many, so they've been coming into the United States. And so if you're this nerdy birder like I am, but kind of a lazy nerdy birder, there's a bunch of snowy owls, the white ones, all over the place, where they didn't used to be! And they're tired, so they're just hanging out during the day. So Jim and I went out to the beach, I don't know, the day after Christmas or something? And there was one of them just sitting there on a log.
jessamyn: During the day. With a whole bunch of people losing their shit, because they never, you never see them. You'd have to go to Canada to see them most of the time.
mathowie: So is the mouse population in jeopardy in New England now, because there's so many extra owls?
jessamyn: I don't know! I think there's just extra mice. Judging by my houses, there's way too many damn mice. I mean, it's a joke, right? Like, I'm calling the squirrel guy to get rid of the squirrels on my house, but at the same time, there's extra owls.
mathowie: Yeah. Hmm.
jessamyn: And you should be able to combine those two things to have an ecosystem that solves itself, right?
mathowie: Yeah. Now, if only owls could break ice dams.
jessamyn: But then Spencer the... oh god, the ice dam guy.
jessamyn: Then Spencer the squirrel man would be out of work, I guess.
mathowie: That's true. But then maybe you might care for owls.
jessamyn: Right, right!
mathowie: Circle of life.
jessamyn: Here's my owl picture, just so you can appreciate it.
jessamyn: They're huge!
mathowie: I loved the bike party video that came out. The crazy guy who's a trial bike rider does...
- what does Kottke call it? Parkour on a bike?
cortex: Oh, yeah.
mathowie: And he does it on a road bike, specifically, which is super crazy, because they're pretty delicate machines and he's jumping four foot logs and stuff. Wow, that snow owl's crazy.
jessamyn: Yeah. They just sit there being fluffy.
mathowie: So he did a crazy road bike video like a year ago, where he looks like he's trashing a bike by riding on ramps and doing stuff nobody's ever done, doing backflips and stuff. And so he was working on a second one. Unfortunately, he was doing a demo and
- he broke his back. He's actually paralyzed, which is...
jessamyn: Wait, what?!
mathowie: Yeah. It's horrible.
mathowie: Like, six months ago he was doing a demo somewhere and he fell from ten feet up in the air to his back, and then it broke.
jessamyn: Wait, so I'm watching a guy in this video who's now paralyzed?
mathowie: Yeah. So he's in the first half of the video, and then there's two other famous, like YouTube-famous trials riders doing the rest of the video.
jessamyn: Oh, gosh.
mathowie: But yeah, it's kind of a bummer. I mean, he is, I mean once you sever your spinal
- cord, you're done. So he is no longer doing this. It's super sad. But so he calls two other masters to do some more stuff. And the stuff he does in it was crazy. Yeah, it's a super bummer that that happened. It's pretty rare for things like that to happen. I've followed BMX for 20 years, and it was like, one or two times someone got paralyzed.
mathowie: While every day, you think someone's going to die pretty much
- every single day. I've been to contests... I had an anxiety, my first anxiety attack of my entire life, had like a panic attack, I was at a contest, there was no paramedics there, really rickety ramps, and people were starting to get ten feet, twenty feet out, on top of a ten-foot ramp.
jessamyn: Ahhhh. Aaaah! Yeah.
mathowie: On asphalt, and I was just like, something bad's going to happen, I know it! And I had to go sit down and hyperventilate for a while.
mathowie: Couldn't, I was like maybe 25, I could not handle how crazy risky everything was that moment.
- But yeah. I'm surprised how little this happens.
jessamyn: But you were able to watch this video okay.
mathowie: Yeah, I mean, it's a bummer. Everything's just so amazing. Everything's truly incredible. Super hard. Psychotic stuff they're doing. Yeah, it's a super bummer to know that the dude got hurt.
mathowie: Not while he was filming this, so it takes the edge off a little bit, but.
jessamyn: That's a neat post. By The World Famous, we gotta remember everybody's name.
cortex: Right, right.
- Did I actually say anything about the Cookie Clicker link? (dissolves into laughter) We just started talking about it. It was the one I mentioned in MetaTalk.
jessamyn: No. Maybe you should, because I don't understand it at all.
mathowie: Yeah, what was the grandma part? I didn't.
cortex: Okay, so Going to Maine made a post--
mathowie: It's grandma farms? You're building farms to make grandmas?
cortex: I'm not going to explain Cookie Clicker from scratch to you, Matt.
cortex: You gotta go play it.
mathowie: I know.
jessamyn: Or read something.
cortex: But the post I was mentioning was by Going to Maine, and it's weird Vocaloid music video using some Japanese pop song called GIFT, I guess.
- But then superimposed into Grandma from cookie clicker is the weird little anime character doing the singing, and it's all full of bizarre Cookie Clicker imagery--
cortex: And it's fantastic if you've played Cookie Clicker--
mathowie: God, so loud.
cortex: --and if not, it's probably completely mystifying. And I just liked it, and so yes.
mathowie: Whoa, they made a 3-D model out of the 2-D rough 16-bit graphics or 8-bit graphics.
mathowie: It's crazy.
jessamyn: I'm so glad you guys can't tell that I'm listening to these things.
mathowie: This came on so loud. When I clicked it, holy...
jessamyn: Right. It's a really loud video.
mathowie: Yeah. That's nuts.
cortex: But another thing I liked, there was a thing going around, Narrative Priorities made a post about this, the short string of comics by a guy named Jon Adams about Chief O'Brien at work, and it's just like ten comics of Chief O'Brien just standing at his station
- on the Enterprise.
jessamyn: Chief O'Brien from Star Wars? Oh, that guy! Big tin man.
cortex: Star Trek. Yeah. Colm Meaney played him on Next Generation, and then on Deep Space Nine he got a promotion to be the chief engineer on Deep Space Nine.
jessamyn: So are you and Jon Adams friends because you both do Star Trek fanfic?
cortex: No. I have no idea who Jon Adams is!
mathowie: Are you guys going to meet at a Star Trek fanfic con?
mathowie and cortex: (laugh)
cortex: I've never gone to a con. The idea of going to one--
mathowie: No, just a fanfic con, that's separate from Star Trek.
cortex: Oh, yeah, I don't know.
mathowie: There's enough of an industry.
cortex: We'll see. Because of LARP Trek I do, there is not a thing like this that I don't hear about from six different people when it starts going around.
jessamyn: Sure, sure, sure.
cortex: But yeah, no, I liked it. It's nicely drawn. It's not my take on the Chief O'Brien character.
cortex: I suspect he really liked his dumb job, as I said in the thread. But still, it's a lot of fun.
mathowie: So I never watched the show. Is he just a background character?
cortex: Well, he starts out really, really background in Next Generation. And in the first few seasons he shows up a few times and has a couple
- lines, but mostly he's that guy who stands around and does one thing or another.
cortex: You know, he runs the transporter for a while. And then eventually the second half of the series of Next Generation, he started to get more of a character, and he gets married late in season 4, I think. Which is interesting, because he gets married to a character we've never met before on the series. (chuckles)
mathowie: Oh! His Canadian girlfriend.
cortex: Keiko comes out of nowhere on the day of their wedding. Yeah, exactly.
mathowie: (chuckles) Classic.
jessamyn: Secret girlfriend.
cortex: Yeah. And then they become characters, Keiko gets a few recurring episodes throughout the rest of The Next Generation and Chief O'Brien becomes a major character. And then he gets transferred over to Deep Space Nine, where he actually gets to be the chief of the station and so became a much bigger thing at that point, so. But yeah, he's great! He's the poor sucker who's not having the grand adventures so much, he's really kind of the working-class dude on the cast as far as that goes.
- And also, he has a terrible day once a season. They would just have an episode where something really shitty would happen to him, like his wife would get age-regressed into a twelve-year-old, and that was super weird, or...
jessamyn: That sounds like a problem.
cortex: (laughs) Or at one point he gets unjustly accused of a crime by some alien society, who, their punishment is to put someone in psychic prison for a simulated 20 years.
cortex: So this happens, and it's really quickly, he gets convicted and sentenced and punished within 24 hours before the crew can actually catch up and explain that no, this is not what's going on, and gosh, where'd our guy go? But by then he's already experienced 20 simulated years of imprisonment.
cortex: And he's actually a little shell-shocked for a while after that, which was kind of nice. Although they didn't really follow through on that super well. Anyway, I like Chief O'Brien, he's a fun character, and this was a good comic.
jessamyn: And this was also a post by Narrative Priorities, who also--
mathowie: Yeah. Did the owls.
jessamyn: --posted Top Ten Reasons You Don't Want An Owl For A Pet and gave out, I believe, two of the MeFite Choice awards, category awards. Very cool.
cortex: Aww, that's awesome.
mathowie: Sweeet. I loved the Eggnog Project as a simple thing. I hate eggnog, personally, but this is just--
jessamyn: (incredulously) How could you hate eggnog?!
cortex: I don't like it either.
mathowie: It's so gross! It's like pancake batter. Yay! I don't want to drink that, it's gross.
cortex: I can get drunk on things that don't seem to be snot, it's just...
mathowie: Yeah, the texture is gross to me. And I've had the hard alcohol version made with real eggs, and that's a different beast. But the stuff in a supermarket is just gross, creamy... I hate it. But I love, this is just a blog of here's thirty different packages from around the U.S. of what people design eggnog containers to look like, and so--
jessamyn: I love it!
mathowie: It's just awesome. I hate eggnog and I loved this. (chuckles)
- Some are classic, from the '40s, they haven't updated the--
jessamyn: Hey, there's Horizon eggnog. That's, what's-his-butt works there.
mathowie: Oh, yeah. Organic Valley?
jessamyn: Snowdeal. Snowdeal.
jessamyn: Eric Snowdeal.
mathowie: Yeah, and there's some local Oregon ones on here that I see on the shelf.
jessamyn: Does Cabot not do eggnog? Is it just one page?
mathowie: It's just one page, I think. But they're kind of beautiful.
jessamyn: Eggnog is my weakness.
jessamyn: Yeah, for all of my trying to be healthy, counting calorie, whatever,
- eggnog is like, a tablespoon of it has more calories than most things in tablespoons. I mean, it's like drinking butter, practically.
jessamyn: And it comes in all these wacky flavors! And I'm always a sucker for wacky flavors. Pumpkin eggnog? (guttural noises) Sugar cookie eggnog? (more guttural noises) You'll have to imagine I'm making that sort of Homer Simpson donut face.
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
cortex: I think you're clear about it. (laughing) I wasn't sure exactly what to get out of that.
jessamyn: (is still making noises that defy description) Cabot must make it! Huh. Yeah, this is a great
mathowie: Super simple, just a little gallery of cool design. I like it.
jessamyn: Alright. Another thing that I loved, which I saw first not on Metafilter but probably because someone on Metafilter posted it somewhere else, is this crazy post by an ['æn]-- anag [əˈnæg]-- ohh! anag [əˈnæg]--
mathowie: anazgnos [əˌnæzgɪnˈoʊs]?
jessamyn: anazgnos [əˌnæzˈnoʊs]? An ['æn]... ohhh.
mathowie: It was never meant to be pronounced.
jessamyn: Pffff. But basically, it's a completely terrific Conan O'Brien clips together a whole bunch of newscasters all doing the same puff piece on whatever stupid thing they're doing. But it's got this one funny, like, it's okay, you can admit it, we've all bought a present for ourself, or one, or five, or ten. And it's one thing, you see it on the news and you're like, oh, stupid.
- But when you see twenty newscasters doing exactly the same thing, it's super creepy and weird and funny, and I was happy to see that there was a post on Metafilter after I'd seen it somewhere else, because I was like, I have no idea what I'm even looking at, somebody explain. And they did!
mathowie: Oh, did someone explain why this happens? It's like a wire service.
cortex: Well, it's all wire copy, yeah, they all get the same bit of wire and then they all just, not all of them necessarily just--
jessamyn: Rip it and read it, is what it's called.
cortex: Yeah. There's some people talking about, well, ideally what you'd do is rework it or rewrite it--
jessamyn: Make it your own.
cortex: But not, obviously, so much.
mathowie: Is it, so it's like Associated Press?
cortex: And it is really fun to watch. Something like that, yeah. I mean, I don't know if it's actually literally AP in this case, but it's something like that where someone is essentially providing a Hollywood minute news package that you can then sort of regurgitate to whatever degree of...
jessamyn: Stuff in and...
mathowie: And they sell it, I guess? Yeah, probably a service.
cortex: Yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: I don't think they sell it, I think they just... they sell it?
- So it's like, you buy it like wire stuff?
cortex: I bet it is. I bet it's basically, yeah, you're buying it out of a package. (laughs)
jessamyn: So you can just basically look at every single person reading this and being like, "Tool. Tool. Tool. Tool."
mathowie: I'm a fan.
jessamyn: But I enjoyed it, and Conan made it funnier than just sitting there being grumpy.
mathowie: And it was Conan doing a Daily Show thing, where you have to comb through like eight archives to find like--
cortex: Well, fortunately, in this case you probably don't. You just have to comb through like three days on all the local affiliates.
mathowie: (chuckles) Right.
jessamyn: Well, and the Internet Archive has that crazy news thing now that they do.
mathowie: Yeah. And there's a lot of hacks where they--
jessamyn: You might be able to use that as a tool, what is it, TV News...
mathowie: There's a TV hack where you can comb through closed captioning, so you could probably just do a search.
jessamyn: Ohh! Good point. Well, especially for something like that.
mathowie: For one or five or ten, yeah.
jessamyn: Like, it's okay, you can admit it.
mathowie: Yeah. And then you can probably find it.
jessamyn: Now I'm typing my name into the TV News. Hey, there's an Indian lady named Jessamyn! Alright, alright.
mathowie: I have a billion posts! What's next? I loved the--
jessamyn: Hey, hey, how about--oh, what? Go on. (laughs)
mathowie: (chuckles) Oh, I just loved the Iron Chef megapost, was kind of a megapost of all megaposts. I don't know--
jessamyn: Was that zarq's?
mathowie: Yeah. And then zarq didn't win, because zarq already won a week before, but I didn't know, all of the zarq posts, and other people who post, filthy light thief
- and stuff, posting these mega-posts about a show is that every episode is on YouTube, mostly! I mean, I think some of them get pulled down afterwards, but it's amazing that two hundred episodes or something are on YouTube. It's incredible. And it's just everything you've ever wanted to know about Iron Chef, the Japanese original.
jessamyn: Yeah! And they're great mega-posts because they put everything in order... I mean, some of the stuff on YouTube you can actually find it put up so that you can
- consume it the right way, but sometimes they're on YouTube in these kind of half-assed ways, and putting everything together really does the world a service, basically.
mathowie: Oh, yeah. All the context is there. I mean, I'm surprised when people don't know that the Chairman Kaga is a super-famous Broadway actor in Japan who was Jean Valjean in Les Mis in Japan. And people were like, "Wait, what? It's not a real guy who lives in a castle?"
jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)
mathowie: Like, didn't you ever to start to think about the show? I mean, you can't tell... they really make food, right? So what else is fake about... like, nothing's fake about the show, right? But yeah, the guy's like, that's why William Shatner was the host when it came to America the first time, because he's kind of a campy...
jessamyn: Campy cornball, yeah.
mathowie: And I guess that's how Chairman Kaga comes off in Japan, as this campy wackadoodle actor. And it's so, I still hear people that have watched the show for ten years and did not know that that guy was a famous
- Broadway actor. But this is cool, and all the spin-off shows, and every... so much great context about what happened before, after, and since.
mathowie: I did not know there were Iron Chefs in eight different countries!
jessamyn: I did not know either. I've never gotten into the food thing?
cortex: I've never really gotten into...
jessamyn: Like, the 'let's watch food on TV' thing?
mathowie: Food as entertainment, yeah.
cortex: I've never really been able to get into that either, particularly, but Iron Chef was just fantastic for being
- this weird production.
cortex: It was just enough odd pageantry, but also enough actual watching people cook that the whole thing just had a nice flow to it. I've never been able to just sit and watch a straight-up cooking show.
jessamyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
cortex: I had trouble with really reality cooking shows, too.
cortex: Because I just can't handle the fucking packaging of most reality TV.
cortex: It's just... have I ranted about this? It's like, if you could cut it down to like 15 minutes.
mathowie: Oh, god. Yeah.
cortex: I think the average hour-long episode would be fine.
jessamyn: Well, because all those little asides.
cortex: But they pad it out to fucking 45, and it's just like, I don't need to hear the exact same information every time before and after the break, and at the start of the show.
mathowie: Commercial, yeah.
cortex: And again... this is not a fucking high school essay. You don't have to tell me what you're going to show me, show me, and then tell me what you showed me.
cortex: I can just watch it once per episode, and I'll have seen it. I'm paying attention. Ahhh!
mathowie: Dana Gould, I just heard a rant of his about reality TV. He said, "Here's a bunch of people who are not actors in situations that are not real that were created by people who are not writers--"
cortex and jessamyn: (laugh)
mathowie: "--doing what they think would happen if it was all real, but it's not. So the whole thing sucks."
jessamyn: Well, that's the thing! It just pulls out every shitty trope about how a hundred people in Hollywood think this stuff works. I mean, Duck Dynasty is the worst. The worst!
jessamyn: And finally that's been getting the attention it deserves, not for this idiot censorship thing, but for how manufactured it is, and how manufactured their personas are, in order to attract a certain demographic. It's just pandering. Horrible!
mathowie: Yeah. I have heard from Food Network people in a million interviews ever since that they said that was the turning point, was Iron Chef. They imported Iron Chef from Japan. Like, I had seen it on VHS tapes in the late '90s from friends who were just into weird stuff.
jessamyn: Yeah, yeah.
mathowie: And then, I think it was in like '98 or so, they started playing them just at odd times on the Food Network, and this was the first time they ever saw males watching Food Network, and this is the first time they ever saw people that don't cook
- watch Food Network recreationally. And they said post-Iron Chef, everything changed, and people just turned on the Food Network for the hell of it, instead of--because before it was just a teaching show. It was always a person over a stove saying, "Here's how you make risotto." And then after that, then they became lifestyle-y, and what was the guy from New Orleans with the bam, Emeril.
cortex: Emeril, yeah.
mathowie: It became a talk show that also had cooking in it, and they said, basically, everything started with Iron Chef. That this wacky thing that's so funny and exciting and foreign and still competition kind of changed the game for them.
- Speaking of dumb reality shows--
mathowie: No, this isn't that dumb of a reality show, but if you've ever watched So You Think You Can Dance, there's this--
cortex: Oh god.
jessamyn: Haven't. Never have! Not once.
mathowie: Oh, well, if you've watched a few of them, every time they do
- modern dance they call it, what do they call it, lyrical or something? They have a weird... I think they call it lyrical dance or something. There's so many tropes to the modern dance. And this is an actual famous modern dancer making a mock video of, here's how you can be number 1 on the show, and they go through like 15 tropes, and they put them all together to a routine that's a routine I've seen a thousand times before.
mathowie: And it's just funny--
jessamyn: You use sign language to tell someone that you just came out of a well. (laughs)
mathowie: Well, yeah. It's really catty, for some reason you have to call his assistant 'bitch', which is really weird and dumb. It's just being like, "I'm a horrible uptight dancer persona." But if you've ever seen So You Think You Can Dance, that's the funniest video in the world.
cortex: Yes. (laughs)
jessamyn: Oh my god, this is awesome.
cortex: No, I thought it was funny too.
jessamyn: Sorry. Busy watching this guy.
mathowie: It's worth the one-minute joke. If you've seen that show. Oh man, someone's using a leaf blower outside of my window. (chuckles)
jessamyn: Hey, at least you don't have snowmobiles.
cortex: See, and I'd never even seen the show, I'd just seen random bit of--
jessamyn: Matt, maybe you hate your neighbors.
jessamyn: Maybe you hate your neighbors and should move to the country.
mathowie: I'm, eh, pretty countrified.
cortex: Yeah, you live in the country.
jessamyn: I live in the country.
cortex: Well, he lives in the country for someone who thinks they live in Portland, anyway.
cortex: A place where you're like 35, 40 minutes out of town.
cortex: Wine country, and yeah.
mathowie: It's slow going.
cortex: I also--
mathowie: Did you see the--yeah, go nuts.
jessamyn: Go nuts!
cortex: The DogeCoin [ˈdɔg ˈkɔɪn], DogeCoin [ˈdoʊg ˈkɔin].
mathowie: DogeCoin [ˈdoʊˌgi ˈkɔɪn]?
cortex: Have we, I don't know if we've had this discussion on the podcast. How do you say it? How do you...?
mathowie: I say doge [ˈdoʊˌgi].
cortex: Doge [ˈdoʊˌgi]?
jessamyn: I say doge [ˈdoʊj].
mathowie: Oh, like an Italian.
cortex: I say doge [ˈdoʊg].
jessamyn: Or doge [ˈdoʊg]-ish. doge [ˈdoʊj], depending.
mathowie: I think I heard people, everyone said, I think you could probably do a, iamkimiam could do a map of it.
cortex: I think I made a joke about like, yeah, that needs to be her post-doctoral research is on the pronunciation of--
mathowie: Yeah. Aww, the original site is down! The hell. DogeCoin [ˈdoʊˌgi ˈkɔɪn] returns an error.
cortex: Oh, man.
mathowie: Is it because of the big, did you hear about the big theft? (chuckles)
jessamyn: What big theft?
mathowie: Well, so they started, they said, oh, let's make fun of bitcoin and we'll make DogeCoin [ˈdoʊˌgi ˈkɔɪn], ha ha ha, and then people made actual apps to actually make coins, and they--
jessamyn: Somebody sent me one.
mathowie: Yeah, so they built kind of like, as a joke, this is how far you want to take a joke? Well, let's build an entire clone of the bitcoin system, and then some of the Doge [ˈdoʊˌgi] stuff is going for two or three weeks, and someone goes, like, people are on message boards going, "I'm a millionaire in DogeCoins! Someday, this'll be worth something." And then one day, maybe it was on The Verge or something, someone just woke up, figured out the weakness in the encryption protocol and stole 50 million DogeCoins from everybody.
cortex: Well, and I don't think it was even a weakness. I think it was something more just
- like someone pulled a scam.
mathowie: Was it? Ohh.
cortex: The encryption protocol as far as I know is still basically sound, but I don't know. Maybe I misread the thing I saw about it, but the impression I got was basically someone was kinda sloppy with trusting someone else with their wallet, essentially, and yeah.
mathowie: So it was just one user? Because they were talking about it happening to hundreds of users, I thought.
cortex: Well, it might have been someone who managed to intercept some sort of service. I don't know.
cortex: In any case, it sounds like it was basically something where someone,
- it was more someone did some good social engineering rather than someone fundamentally broke some trusted encryption or whatever.
mathowie: Yeah. It's funny the joke went so far as to (laughing) become a clone of the thing it was joking about.
cortex: Well, what's weird, I learned from reading this post and reading things related to it that this whole spin-off cryptocurrency thing is something tons of people are doing! It's not like DogeCoin [ˈdoʊgˌkɔɪn] is a standalone response to bitcoin and that's it. There's tons of these things! People are just constantly spitting out their own little spin-off
- cryptocurrencies and kind of hoping they'll strike gold, I think. And so on the on hand, DogeCoin [ˈdoʊgˌkɔɪn] is a joke, but on the other hand, it's not necessarily all that much more of a joke than a bunch of other apparently totally straight-faced attempts to make the next bitcoin. So everybody's mining their own little variants and whatnot. People have joked about the idea of making MeFiCoin, and I'm simultaneously entertained by the idea and just kinda don't even want to go with it with a ten-foot pole, because I don't even want to have anybody feeling like their fake money is at stake,
- and then someone's going to get burnt about something because someone did something sketchy where they posted a link on Chat and it steals your wallet and then they lost their MeFiCoins--
cortex: --and that's like, ah, fuck me, no. No.
mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)
cortex: People can do that shit on their own time, we are not getting involved. (laughs)
mathowie: Well, you saw the running joke two or three weeks ago when there was a bitcoin market crash that the top of Reddit's bitcoin subreddit was suicide help?
jessamyn: Oh god.
cortex: (laughs) Jesus.
mathowie: People just going like, that really happened? You really think? Because what, really? So you were at an open mic and you heard someone singing about dogs? You made the joke in the thread.
jessamyn: Me? You!
mathowie: Josh did. You did.
cortex: What-- (laughs) I have no memory of this. What the hell did I tell you?
mathowie: "I'm at an intimate coffeehouse--"
jessamyn: Read the link! Matt just sent you your own comment!
cortex: Oh, oh, that, that! I know.
jessamyn: Augh! (laughs)
cortex: I thought he was saying... well, it wasn't at an open mic, is part of the thing.
cortex: And so I was like, "What fucking open mic?"
- And, yeah, no, there was some guy singing, (growly, drawn-out country voice) "A dog, just a dog!" and I was reading that post and yeah, I was just really trying not to bust up in the middle of his heartfelt song about the dog.
mathowie: Ohh. (chuckles) So you could have yelled, "Wow! Such sadness!" (chuckles)
jessamyn: Yeah, they're very--
cortex: Sorry, I thought you were saying like Jessamyn went to an open mic--
mathowie: Oh, no, no.
cortex: --where she heard someone singing a song about doge [ˈdoʊg], and I was so excited, because like, how did I miss you bringing this up thirty seconds ago? That's great!
mathowie: Oh, no.
jessamyn: No, that would have been good!
mathowie: I assumed it was open mic stuff. Who would be singing about a dog?
cortex: No, it was a bluesy song, you know.
jessamyn: Somebody posted a link to these stone dog pictures that I enjoy also. It has nothing to do with this thread.
cortex: Oh, yeah, the stone dogs.
mathowie: Oh, yeah, they found the original dog. That's pretty cool.
jessamyn: Yeah! But all you need is a dog with its eyes half-open and suddenly hilarious stone dog meme.
mathowie: I actually liked, there's an imgur post that I actually liked was the origins of common UI symbols. And I thought it'd just be dumb. (chuckles) And it's pretty simple,
- and it's only like ten--
jessamyn: Who's it by? Who's it by?
mathowie: Old-school, long-term Australian, I think?
mathowie: And it's like, where'd the FireWire weird triangle-y thing come from? I didn't know what Bluetooth, Bluetooth is a couple of runes from the 10th century, and there's a reason why it's called Bluetooth and why they use that, and it's really cool. It's one of those dumb things that's on the front page of Reddit every five minutes,
- but it's cool, like, why are those abstract symbols the way they are?
mathowie: And how are they developed, and it takes two minutes to read the whole thing, and it's cool.
mathowie: Single dumb image post, but it was actually neat.
jessamyn: I have to say, single dumb YouTube post, we watched Lil Bub in front of a fireplace basically all day Christmas when we weren't watching Withnail and I or Galaxy Quest.
- It is an hour of Lil Bub? (laughs)
jessamyn: I think part of it loops? Because I think part of it is again.
mathowie: Oh my god.
jessamyn: But I like Lil Bub. She's a little snorfly cat who raises money for other special-needs cats and she's just purring in front of a fire. It's so cute.
mathowie: (chuckles) Awesome. Any other Metafilter posts from anyone?
cortex: Those were my biggies.
jessamyn: This one of you, Matt.
mathowie: Which one?
jessamyn: Your Medium post about giving better presentations?
- Oh, cool.
jessamyn: I thought it was good, Artw posted it, and everybody favorited it, I think because it's good, not just because it's you.
jessamyn: But I thought it was useful.
mathowie: I got some weird feedback because (laughs) this is the funniest part, because they didn't want to admit it, was follow all of my advice and you'll get better, right?
mathowie: That's an okay thing. And then I sort of was like, someone said, oh, you should put examples of you where you think you got better,
- and I was like, well, the last two years I think I was getting better. (chuckles)
mathowie: Like, I don't think I'm good at it. So I got some feedback that, "This guy sucks!" Like, Jesus.
jessamyn: Oh god.
mathowie: "I guess compared to someone who's terrified of leaving their house, yes, he's done incredibly well. But this guy is no TED talker." (chuckles) I thought it was awesome.
jessamyn: Wow! Did somebody actually say that to you? Or was it in a comment?
mathowie: It was somewhere on the web, maybe [??] I had been linked in a million places.
jessamyn: Good Lord.
cortex: Probably some dingus on Hackers News.
jessamyn: I don't know, Matt. I've seen a million presentations, and I think you're pretty good!
mathowie: I don't think... I mean, I am terribly... I don't know. I was terribly nervous in the two things I posted. Oh my god, yeah. (chuckles)
jessamyn: One of them was the South by Southwest thing, right?
mathowie: No, one's the Webstock and one's the GEL talk. But I also linked to the South by Southwest one where I did it in my house, which isn't the same as doing it in an audience.
jessamyn: Well, but when I saw you, I thought you were fairly good. That was three years ago.
mathowie: Yeah. Yeah. And the biggest blowback I got was people just going,
- "Look, I work for the government, man, we have mandates of how Powerpoint has to be used, and I've seen that before, like, I've sat in an audience--"
jessamyn: Yeah, but that's a completely different, like, whatever.
mathowie: Well, they all go, "This is all well and good, this advice you're giving, but you're making pretty slides for a performance in a theater, and that's not what I do at work, and you don't understand what I do. The CEO doesn't even go to the talks, he just wants the deck." And I'm like, "We're doing two different things! I'm talking about performance--"
mathowie: "And you're talking about using Powerpoint like it's a document manager. That's different."
jessamyn: Right. Because your office is dumb. Sorry!
mathowie: Yeah. Why don't you just use Word if you want to make paragraphs of copy.
mathowie: And there are people that are yelling at me about, I said, say so few words, and they're like, "I'm from science! We have to show graphs." I never said, "Don't show graphs." I just said, "Don't put 500 words on your slide."
jessamyn: Right. Baah! People.
mathowie: But, it, yeah, thanks.
jessamyn: No, I thought it was good! I read it, I thought it was interesting, you got good feedback, and whatever. Oh! One of the things I wanted to tell people is I got some of those little wristbands that say "Don't Read The Comments."
mathowie: (laughs) Yeah.
jessamyn: And I would give a couple of them away to podcast listeners if we have four or five people who would like me to mail them a Don't Read The Comments wristband.
mathowie: (laughs) Sweet.
jessamyn: Because I got 12 or 15 of them from Steve, and I think they're really cool.
mathowie: I like reading comments, so I couldn't participate.
jessamyn: Right. I wouldn't have a job if I didn't read the comments, but, ah.... but, ahhhh! Yeah. I think it's good advice for other terrible websites.
mathowie: Yeah, definitely. Any others?
jessamyn: That's it for me for Metafilter.
cortex: I think I'm good.
mathowie: Let me see what I've got in Ask.
jessamyn: Here's a copy of my bracelets.
mathowie: Oh, yeah, what do they look like? So one's grayish or whitish?
jessamyn: Yeah, one's gray with red and one's black with red and and on the inside it says, "Here's to us, fuck them."
mathowie: Oh, I love that. I can't find the origin of that saying. Steve puts that in the bottom of his e-mail and it just says, "Common Russian saying: 'here's to us--'" Or toast, common Russian toast or something, it says, "Here's to us! Fuck them." I can't find the origin using Google for that. Because it's just so few words and they're so generic.
jessamyn: Yeah, it's funny. When I Google it, I basically find
- my own photos--
jessamyn and mathowie: (chuckle)
jessamyn: --Steve's photos, a Metafilter post with a comment by me...
cortex, jessamyn and mathowie: (laugh)
jessamyn: Wow. I am not entirely sure it actually exists!
cortex: Maybe you just made this up and forgot you made it up.
jessamyn: It definitely wasn't me.
mathowie: I could grill Steve, but I thought Google could tell me where that came from, but...
jessamyn: The answer appears to be Steve.
mathowie: Steve. I think he might have studied Russian literature in college,
- or he was in philosophy, but he might have stumbled across it and just never forgot it.
jessamyn: I thought he studied theology. At any rate, we'll ask him.
mathowie: Yeah. Oh, wait, I had the wrong one. Oh, I loved the postcard stalker was the greatest weird--
mathowie: --Ask Metafilter.
jessamyn: It was a pain to moderate because everybody was yakking.
mathowie: Yeah. But it was one of those--
jessamyn: Do you want to explain the story? It was by Hellafiles, who I had not previously noticed.
mathowie: Yeah, where they just started getting weird vintage postcards in the mail. None of them were creepy or threatening, but they're just
- so many, and it's just weird that they're getting so many of them, and the first thing I thought was, "Oh, I wonder if ColdChef is doing this?"
mathowie: Jessamyn and ColdChef are the only people I know who are active postcarders.
jessamyn: I would never creep on someone like that, though.
mathowie: Well, yeah, yeah, and I was like, ColdChef would have a good, yeah. And I asked ColdChef on Twitter, and he went, "I don't know if I... this could be me."
mathowie: "I'm not... I've sent so many." (laughs) I think he said "I can't completely deny it."
- Like, it could be me, I gotta go look at how many I've sent recently. (laughs) And it turns out, finally it's one of those things where it's not ColdChef and you're like, oh my god, what is it, is it a stalker? Everyone went nuts. And then, is it a brother-in-law's father. Who just thought it was a--
jessamyn: Yeah, and then everybody got crazy being like, "Wait, what does that mean? It's the blalalalala!" You know, "how is that person related to you?"
mathowie: Ohh. Brother-in-law's... yeah, they're not, they're probably someone they met once at a family gathering.
jessamyn: Well, because brother-in-law can mean multiple things, right?
jessamyn: But yeah. It was an interesting thread.
mathowie: It was fun to get closure on these what is happening, I can't figure it out, can you guys help me figure it out? And nobody can help figure it out, and then we figure it out. And then the answer comes true. So at least there's closure.
jessamyn: Here's another easy closure one, which was one of my favorite, "Help me remember this shit from the '70s!" Basically, it was a sit-in space vehicle toy that was kinda like Sit 'n Spin
- but it looked like a bobsled?
mathowie: Whaat? Wow.
jessamyn: I know, right?!
jessamyn: I grew up then, and I could not recall ever having even seen this thing, much less wanted one or whatever. And we all kind of threw ideas at it, and I love those! Because you go Googling trying to find it out, and...
mathowie: I have never seen this. I do not remember it. Wow.
jessamyn: But there's basically one picture that's up on
- Flickr with this guy in one of these things. I mean, it looks kind of awesome. It was sort of an overpriced hunk of plastic.
jessamyn: And the picture of the kid from 1979 is also in front of a Star Wars Millennium Falcon box. So it can't be '79, right? Didn't Star Wars come out... did Star Wars come out in '79?
jessamyn: Oh, okay, okay.
mathowie: So the toys were around.
mathowie: eponysterical [ˌiˌpoʊniˈstɛːɹɪkəl], it was posted by Flying Saucer.
jessamyn: I know, right? You say eponysterical [ˌiˌpoʊniˈstɛɹɪkəl]?
mathowie: (chuckles) I've never had to pronounce it in my life.
jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)
cortex: It's like an eponymous [əˈpɑnəməs] album. It's an eponymous [ˌiˈpoʊniˌmʌs] album.
mathowie: (chuckles) This is what's so great about--
jessamyn: Eponymous [əˈpɑnəməs]. You just said it! Augh.
mathowie: So great about the Internet. I was trying to remember something from 1985 the other day and was so stoked with a half-baked "Uh! Thing! Here! Locate it with dancing!" and it came up and I was so happy.
mathowie: There was a Wikipedia, "here's a photo of it! Here's everything we know about it!" So great.
- I have never heard of this thing! That is a weird toy. I thought it would spin!
jessamyn: Yeah! It didn't even look very fun. It does spin!
mathowie: Yeah, you don't--what? How does it spin? It's just a thing with switches!
jessamyn: It's like a Sit and Spin. Like, you push the handles and it kind of moves around a little bit.
mathowie: Ohhhh. Ohh.
jessamyn: It didn't look very fun, and it looked pretty expensive.
mathowie: Yeah. I'd rather play with the Millennium Falcon.
mathowie: Huh. Any others? Any, you got, Josh?
jessamyn: Are you kidding? Josh, did you even look at Ask Metafilter?
cortex: I did! But I, you know, I always end up focusing on the ones that I have to moderate because people are having a bad day or being grumpy with each other.
jessamyn: Right. "People fought a lot in this one!"
cortex: And so a lot of times--yeah, exactly! And so I go over my month and I'm like, oh, yeah, that one was bad, and that one was bad, and that one was bad, none of them are things I want to, like, oh, yeah, we should really talk on the podcast about this person whose relationship has gone to shit or--
jessamyn: Having a terrible time.
cortex: --this person who's having trouble coping with the loss of their job, or this person who is arguing with everybody--
jessamyn: And everybody is hollering at them.
cortex: Yeah, it's like, and I feel like I--
jessamyn: Well, I think that's--
cortex: I feel like maybe one of my unspoken, that I'm now speaking so that ruins it, resolutions for the year should be to try and just get a little bit more joy out of Ask Metafilter on my own time and try and re-find some... because I have enjoyed Ask Metafilter in the past. I just haven't found myself going there with my--
jessamyn: Need to remember enjoying it.
mathowie: Yeah, a couple days a week.
cortex: Yeah, rekindle my Ask Metafilter, yeah.
mathowie: Yeah, a couple days a week I have to remind myself to go through the last couple days of the front page just to look for things that I'm interested in.
- I have also found if you follow the Ask Metafilter Twitter, I think it's just Ask, yeah.
jessamyn: You can see the questions and see what's interesting.
mathowie: I made an official @AskMetafilter, and we're getting throttled by Twitter's API, so not every question shows up, but almost every question shows up.
jessamyn: What happens to those when people reply to them? They don't, right? I mean...?
mathowie: I don't think they do? They might favorite them once in a while, but...
jessamyn: Maybe you should check in case people are replying to it and we're missing those.
mathowie: Right, I actively check into the Metafilter main account, but I haven't looked at Ask Metafilter, because it's just a feed. It just says, "Here's a feed!"
mathowie: But in the middle of randomly reading Twitter I'll see two or three weird ones and sometimes like, "What bike should I buy?" and I'll be like, "Holy crap, I can help!" and so I've found I've been finding good Ask Metafilter posts randomly in my Twitter feed fairly often now.
jessamyn: So! Things you guys may have missed included very cool things like, "Not getting older, getting better," where a whole bunch of Metafilter people talk about the bright sides of getting older, usually people 40 and above, which just turned into a kind of a nice, reflective... I mean, basically this person was like, "Friend's hitting a milestone birthday, feeling a little down, I would like to have some good examples of things that get better as you
- get older."
jessamyn: So lots of people have advice about things that get better as you get older! It's a nice read.
mathowie: Oh, nice! Without it being a bunch of jokes about getting old.
jessamyn: Right! Well, you know, we crack down hard on jokes, and when the mod comments early in the thread, people know we mean serious business.
mathowie: (chuckles) Serious business.
jessamyn: Another fun thread where everybody talks to each other is the "How cold is it inside up North?" question.
jessamyn: And if you know anything about people in especially northern New England, you know that we love to talk about
- how we set our thermostats. And our heat, and how we stay warm, and our zone temperatures, and whatever. And so it's a lot of people basically in Canada, New England, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan areas just talking about what kind of heat system they have, how hot they keep their place, and whether it's working or not.
mathowie: I saw someone on Twitter joking about, it's not Calgary, what's another super-north city?
jessamyn: Winnipeg. It's colder there than it is on Mars.
mathowie: That's, yeah, I did not know that was a running joke, and someone was showing me--
jessamyn: No, I just saw it on mlkshk, but what the--
mathowie: The Winnipeg temps and the Mars temps, and holy... oh, man. Every time I'm in Canada, I'm like, I love Canada so much, everything about Canada except the weather. Like, ohhh, it's so... it can get so insanely cold, how do people deal with it?
jessamyn: Well, and Winnipeg is on the prairie.
jessamyn: So it gets punishing temperatures that Montreal and even Toronto don't get.
mathowie: I don't know if you can adequately in text tell someone from the South what it's really like to be -5 or whatever.
jessamyn: Dude, it's -5 here today!
mathowie: Ohh, man.
jessamyn: It's not so bad. You keep the heat on, you wear long johns, you don't leave any skin exposed outside for more than five minutes, and you go about your day. You have a good battery in your car.
mathowie: And you enjoy the hell out of summer!
jessamyn: Yeah! But you snowshoe, and you do stuff. You can't... I don't know. You don't live up here.
- I mean, that was one of the things my neighbor said in the "how cold is it up North?" thread, let me see if I can... yeah, basically "the upside of this is the area's very stable. Most people can't deal with this level of cold," (laughing) so you only get the people who can mostly handle it, "and the other upside is the summers are the most lovely things you can imagine," of course.
mathowie: Yeah. And you appreciate them way more. I loved this Ask Metafilter post about show me a world I didn't know, but I've always wanted
- to know about, which "I'm going through a McDonald's drive-through," this is a post by royalsong, "and I got my burger and my fries and my Coke, and then I got a giant thing of like 20 McNuggets! And then I didn't know until I'd left the parking lot, like, what's this second bag? Oh my god! 20 dollars worth of McNuggets." So their question is, does that employee get docked?
jessamyn: In trouble? Right.
mathowie: "Like, do they actually dock their pay for the $9.99 of chicken nuggets I accidentally got? And it's clearly probably the car behind me's bag that they accidentally gave me, or do they just get a reprimand, or can they get fired?" The person was feeling really guilty about enjoying free McNuggets, I think, and was like, "Do people actually have to pay for their mistakes?" And there's a zillion people who worked at McDonald's as teens talking about how, you know what, no one really cares, is pretty much. Like, if they do care, they just might say,
- "Hey, you handed the bag to the wrong car," and cook up another one in thirty seconds.
jessamyn: Right. "Don't do it again."
mathowie: And most people were saying, if this person did it five times in a week, maybe the manager would notice and say, "Hey, you should watch it on the giving the bags to people. Double-check, yo." And that's about it. That nobody's going to get docked. And then someone also pointed out employment law was really interesting, that if you can actually dock someone's pay, there's all these other employment law things that kick in that
- McDonald's probably doesn't want to happen so that they wouldn't ever do this because it would be so high-risk for them.
jessamyn: Right. I mean, now that there's more, at least, workplace protection, theoretically if you take money away from your employees, yeah, exactly, there are some bad ramifications on disciplinary docking, according to melissasaurus.
mathowie: Yeah, and it's mentioned in here that basically other people who worked at McDonald's, the only thing people care about is the cash register even.
jessamyn: That's what I remember from working at a drug store.
jessamyn: They were like, if your cash register had discrepancies that were over a buck or two, it happened twice and people were just like, "Nope, you clearly can't handle money."
jessamyn: And they're basically like, "We don't care if you're stealing it or you're losing it. The end result to us is, this is a huge problem."
mathowie: Yeah. So it was funny to hear, I've never worked at McDonald's, I've worked in food before with a zillion pizza places in my teens and it was horrible. And I could tell you everything about why Pizza Hut is the worst thing in the world--
mathowie: --but it was good to hear, "Well, I haven't been there since high school, but this is how it worked," and some people had done it more recently.
jessamyn: Yeah, I didn't see that. I had a couple. See, it's funny. I don't like watching The Food Network, but what I like watching is food threads on Ask Metafilter.
cortex and mathowie: (chuckle)
mathowie: That's your entertainment.
jessamyn: Which includes--that's my segue. Love it. The rice and beans--
cortex: One of the posts, I just gotta say, one of these days we've got to have a post about an actual Segway.
- Like, the two-wheeled vehicle.
jessamyn and mathowie: (laugh)
cortex: Because that will be the greatest Segway segue ever when we pull that off. That's all.
mathowie: "Speaking of motorized robots..."
cortex: Every time I'm thinking of it, yes.
jessamyn: So phrontist basically has the question that many of us have. "I want a rice and bean recipe that's cheap and nutritionally complete, and I want to eat this every day, but I also want to stay healthy."
mathowie: Optimal ratio of rice to beans.
jessamyn: "How do I do it?" And there's just a couple good rice and bean ratios. It's one of those crazy threads that has like 12 answers,
- 76 favorites.
mathowie: Oh, people, yeah. It hit a nerve.
jessamyn: But, you know, just people talking about it. And then this other thread that we kind of talked, I think, with kalessin? kalessin, I think. Who's basically making... there's that sort of irritating a hundred foods thing up on List Challenge, which is this new slightly spammy-seeming thing where you can click things. "How many of these foods have you eaten?" But you look at the list and it's all like caviar and
- nonsense and eels and frogs' legs and lobster and stuff that's a little more kind of, sea urchin, more high-end, at least for a lot of people.
jessamyn: And so kalessin basically wanted to put together a list that had kind of the street food equivalent in many cultures.
mathowie: Oh, nice!
jessamyn: And so had a great thread, and got 70 comments and only 15 favorites, but I thought it was actually really good. Like, help me think of what,
- in different cultures, not just in America, people would consider sort of street food, home-y food, that kind of thing.
mathowie: It's always great when I find a new cuisine and that's amazing, and it turns out to be like, oh, that's totally cheap, that's the equivalent of a hot dog cart in Thailand.
jessamyn: Right. We all eat that all the time. Yeah, I know.
mathowie: Right. And you're like, "Really?! You guys got it right! This is amazing!"
jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)
mathowie: "You should be eating this all the time! This is incredible! But it costs a dollar?!
- Whaat?! I love that. Love it!
mathowie: My favorite meal at one restaurant is something that's just supposed to be, in Lao, it's just this totally street food, it's just rice fried with some chicken and some weird sauce on it. It's amazing. And it's this totally cheap garbagey one-dollar thing you can get on the street.
jessamyn: I love it already.
cortex: Yeah, there's this place in Portland on Alberta called Bollywood Theater,
- Indian place, and they do sort of a mix of stuff, including street food, and they make a kati roll, which is I guess totally normal street food but I was totally unfamiliar with it, and it's so, it's kind of like an Indian burrito, almost. It's naan, real thin naan instead of a tortilla, different insides. But some veggies and some meat in there and it's fucking amazing! And yeah, it's one of those things where I had just, I had never run into it before.
- I don't tend to aim for Indian food because I don't really like spicy food and a lot of folk seem to specifically like Indian food spicy, and so I never know if I'm going to be able to eat a goddamned thing at a restaurant, but the kati roll. So yeah. Next time you're in town, Matt, go to Alberta, go to the Bollywood Theater to get a kati roll, because ohhh.
cortex: And yeah, it's the same way.
mathowie: Yeah, in my dumb ignoramus experience of Indian food, I had no, India's a huge country, and the food is really varied! Like, I've never heard of a kati roll. That's really cool.
- I went to a [??] northern Indian restaurant once in New York, where none of the food was anything I'd ever experienced in fifteen years of eating Indian once a month, because it just wasn't the standard goofy Indian that we have here, which is just all curries and naans and stuff.
mathowie: And it was, I can't remember, everything was served on a giant, size of the table, crispier kind of, like a super-thin naan that was almost like a giant cracker. I forget what it was called.
- And everything was so completely different, and I was like, oh my god, I'm such an ignoramus, and I was enjoying it.
jessamyn: There was a thread, I don't think it even made it to Metafilter, but I remember reading it somewhere on the Internet in the last couple days, which was about the thirty-some odd regions of India and what the different food specialties are. Because it would be like saying, "Oh, America, do you like... whatever." Hot dogs, and you're like, "No, no, no, no, there's, it's regional!" Like, a lot of food here is regional.
- But it was one of those really fancy map kind of... I mean, there's a million websites that have it, but this was a recent fancy map, here's what the specialties are in various parts of India.
mathowie: One of the highest-rated things for the month, because I was running low, is "What do I put in my trunk in case of small emergencies and not zombie apocalypses but more like, oh, I forgot an umbrella, it's raining, but I just--"
jessamyn: I feel like we get this question every six months or so.
mathowie: Do we? I don't know. I've never seen the car kit one before.
jessamyn: Lint brush... caffeine tablets... chocolate...
mathowie: I think I've seen what to have in your house, what to have in your cube, yeah. Food is always super important if you're ever stuck somewhere for two hours.
jessamyn: Or two days.
mathowie: That's the number one way not to go crazy is not to let your blood sugar fall to zip while you're stuck in abysmal traffic.
jessamyn: Right. Yeah. I liked that along with the "prepare for disaster without going all doomsday prepper".
jessamyn: Like, "Look, I'm looking at the Red Cross preparedness guide, but I'm trying to figure out what I reasonably need for my sensible disaster box."
jessamyn: It had a lot of heavily-favorited, so the post is by nerdfish--
mathowie: Jesus. Yeah.
jessamyn: --and Solomon had just a 20-item, bam, here you go, print it, get this, you're done.
mathowie: That is the greatest king Boy Scout--
jessamyn: In fact, Solomon commented several times in the thread, and all of the comments are terrific.
mathowie: Whoa! Ten more things. Holy cow.
jessamyn: Yeah. Well, because people who are into disaster preparedness are often really into it. And very good at it. Because it's kind of cool.
mathowie: Yeah. Sweet.
jessamyn: The last thing I learned from Metafilter was a question by kinetic. "I live off I-95, and if I want to go north, why does it say Portsmouth, and if I want to go south, why does it say Providence?" Like, how do you choose those cities?
mathowie: Oh, right.
jessamyn: And I've always kind of...
mathowie: Is there a system?
jessamyn: Well... yes! I've always been like, "Well, they're big cities. I don't know." But xingcat actually has the answer! They're called 'control cities'.
jessamyn: Under the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices--
jessamyn: --control cities have to appear on the route signs, and bam, there's the answer!
mathowie: I always hated that as a 16-year-old learning to drive, as a total literalist, when I was a kid--
jessamyn: Right! Because I'm like, I have no idea if I need to go to Lawrence or not. Like, aaah!
mathowie: Right. I just want a number and a direction. Like, I want 19 South, or 34 North, just shut up, that's what I have written on paper, I have to go 34 North, and I'm like, "Is San Diego north of where I am, or is...?"
jessamyn: Totally, totally! (laughs)
mathowie: "Or is El Cerrito south?"
cortex: Yeah, I have the same issue just in town, you know, there'll be an exit for--
jessamyn: Well, you're a new driver, too. That's gotta be hard.
cortex: It is a little bit weird. And I just have to learn by rote. Because if I want to get down to, there's the riverfront
- OHSU campus downtown.
cortex: And to get that, you have to decide that you're going to take the exit to Lake Oswego.
mathowie: Lake Oswego, yeah.
cortex: I'm like, I'm not going to fucking Lake Oswego! I'm going to the fucking riverfront! But you just have to learn it. And yeah, I never really, I'd sort of thought idly about that city thing, but I'd never really gotten farther than thinking, huh, I wonder how does it end up there? So it's nice to know there's a concrete answer.
mathowie: Everything in Southern California is like city this way, city that way, and then everyone you talk to has a different term for the same
mathowie: Where they go like, "Oh, the San Diego freeway," and you're like, "Wait, what? But it's nowhere near San Diego." They're like, "That's the 405." "Why don't you call it 405?" I just wanted numbers, and I liked when I went to other states that everything was like "Exit 37". You can't screw that up! But, you know, Elm Street exit I have to look for? I don't know if it's in two miles or ten miles. I wanted some order. I hated the whole city thing in Southern California, because the same
- freeway you're on changes names three times.
mathowie: And the signs on the side of the road telling you which way to go change that control city every ten miles, so it's just so inconsistent. It's good to know that there are some rules for it. Besides 'closest major town'.
jessamyn: Right. Or biggest major town, or... town of a certain size. Yeah, exactly. I thought it was pretty neat.
jessamyn: But that was it for my Ask Metafilter.
mathowie: (exhales) Any...?
jessamyn: I talked to the nice people at NPR about miscellanea yesterday.
cortex: Yeah, how'd that go? I forgot to listen.
mathowie: Yeah, that was good!
jessamyn: I thought it went good! The people who listened to it, I mean, of course, I have total retrograde amnesia and I can't remember anything about it.
mathowie: It was really good.
jessamyn: I hear it went well, they called David Weinberger, I got to talk to him, I got to talk to a humorist from the New York Times who was launching a new humor column, and this guy who does the Useless Information Podcast.
mathowie: (chuckles) It was good.
jessamyn: But I was the person they kept on the whole time, which was super fun.
mathowie: You were the perfect human being on the planet, because they wanted to just know about online miscellanea, tell me about the wacky world of the web and the crazy crap I can find on the web.
jessamyn: Well, and the guy was totally like, "I waste all my time on the Internet and I feel bad about looking up all this useless stuff."
jessamyn: I was like, "Don't! It makes you perfect at your job!" (laughs) Which is true!
mathowie: It makes you smarter!
mathowie: And also, you got to be like, "I am also a librarian hat person, and here's how we put things in piles
- so it's not just a nightmare combination of random stuff." That was really good, too.
mathowie: Like, you're the only human on the planet who knew sorting librarian stuff plus also wacky Internet stuff really, really--
jessamyn: I thought it went well. I was really pleased with it.
mathowie: It was good. And yeah, he would cut people off after like six minutes. "Okay, we're done with you!"
mathowie: And you stuck around. (laughing) It was like the Hunger Games! You lived to the end.
jessamyn: Well, because the guy talks all the time!
jessamyn: And so it was just crazy! So much talking.
jessamyn: And so yeah. I had to get good at shutting myself up, but also just be like (whistles)--
jessamyn: --willing him to shut up at the same time.
mathowie: So aside from the contest, I wanted to mention we also launched Metafilter Labs with some cool year--
jessamyn: Oh, yeah! People totally liked it.
mathowie: There's the year-end stats, which is like the thing we did in a jokey fashion like three years
- ago, the giant--
jessamyn: You said it was jokey, but I thought people loved that infographic. Maybe it was just me who loved it.
mathowie: Oh, yeah. It was in a time where infographics on the web were just this horrible stain on the Internet where everything was an infographic. It would be like presenting this as a Buzzfeed listicle with cats would be today's version of it.
jessamyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
cortex: The stats were real, just, yeah.
mathowie: Yeah, real stats, but it was presented in a jokey fashion. My favorite part of it was some guy who was a big fan of Metafilter wrote a post going like,
- "Infographics are officially over. Metafilter fell for it. They're just crass, horrible, I hate--"
cortex and jessamyn: (explode with laughter)
mathowie: "I hate Metafilter. I thought Matt Haughey stood for something. He's just as bad as the rest." And I was like, "Duude, did you know we were doing that on purpose as a joke?"
jessamyn: Hey, wait a second, there was a Metafilter meetup in New Hampshire. I went to it.
mathowie: We couldn't find it in IRL. Huh. I was surprised there was no Florida.
jessamyn: Huh. Maybe it was at the very end of December. Maybe.
mathowie: Ohhh. Yeah, we did this three days or a week before the finish.
jessamyn: No, I mean the end of last December, and I thought it was last year. Huh!
mathowie: Oh, right. So yeah, there's all the top lists for Metafilter. Oh, yeah, Rhaomi got the, we never mentioned the Breaking Bad post on the podcast, I forgot that month, but that was the most favorited post the entire year, and then a lot of the December post contest stuff showed up in the best of the year as well. All the zarqs showed up.
- That comment we did on the Best Of blog about the Christmas cookies was the third-most favorited of all here, which is cool. So it's just a bunch of interesting stats. The biggest things have happened in the highest-favorited stuff, and yeah, it was a just cool way to pluck a bunch of information out of what we got existing.
jessamyn: Yeah, I thought it was terrific.
mathowie: And this all started when we saw the, like, NPR did a books page of their top books mentioned on their
- show for the year, and for some reason Paul was just like, he just looked at it and two seconds later was like, "I could build that. I could build that in two seconds."
mathowie: So we already had a test page of what are the most mentioned Amazon books on the site, and Paul was like, oh, I could totally, he just totally copied the layout and grabbed the images off Amazon and made this popular for the entire year, like the most mentioned things on Amazon for the entire year
- from Ask Metafilter, and I figured Gift of Fear would be the number one, that's like the number one thing that if you have a problematic spouse who I feel like I might be in physical danger, what should I do? Or I think I'm getting stalked? Everyone mentions The Gift Of Fear a lot. But there's a lot of self-help books and stuff.
- There was a couple... we could have made it books only, but we saw a couple weird, like a wake-up light and a white noise generator also showed up a zillion times.
jessamyn: Sure! White noise generators are huge! Very important.
mathowie: And a drain-cleaning tool. Like a snaking a drain out. Like we do--
jessamyn: I have that white noise generator! It's the best!
mathowie: Oh, sweet. So yeah, we did that, and then I loved, my favorite thing is the recent wackadoodle things from Amazon, from anywhere on the site, any mentions of it, just because it's so all over the map. The first time we ran it there was boob tape, you know, like models would wear to keep their dress from falling off. I didn't know Amazon sold that.
jessamyn: Automatic pet feeder...
mathowie: Next to baby toys.
jessamyn: Cat grooming thing...
mathowie: Yeah. Bluetooth receivers... everyth--
jessamyn: Snap-in socket cord... what do these even do?
mathowie: I know, that's the thing! And you can go to the comment to see where it was mentioned and why, and sometimes you get a dump of books, and whenever there's a book thread there's a ton of books in here and it's really cool. I just found, I randomly found...
jessamyn: Pet dish vaporizer with nightlight?
mathowie: I've found random dumb threads I've missed just because I saw the products being mentioned and I went, "Whoa, that's cool!"
- Ouchless purse brush. Whaat? Why? Huh. Stuff is super random.
jessamyn: There was somebody who had a pet that wouldn't let her groom them. Like, the pet, every time she tried to groom the cat, the cat would think she was trying to play.
jessamyn: So she needed a way to groom the cat without playing with it. Maybe that's what that was.
mathowie: And then the last couple are YouTube feeds of recent YouTubes.
- And the one of the front-page posts, the YouTube viewer for it, is really cool, especially for the megaposts. Or you can just scan through it really fast, as fast as you want to go, and just stop when you see a cool thumbnail and go, oh, what's that about? It's a fun way to find just weird stuff.
jessamyn: I also really appreciate that you guys included who posted them?
jessamyn: Because I can take a look and be like, "Do I trust this person to not have secret spiders in their post or not?"
mathowie and cortex: (laugh)
mathowie: Oh, god. That's the nightmare video, yeah. Don't go to kottke.org.
jessamyn: Some people, yes, other people, no. Maybe secret spiders. Not clicking.
mathowie: We didn't talk about the Paddington Bear. I see the megapost at the bottom of it. I didn't think that was--
jessamyn: What Paddington Bear?
mathowie: I didn't think that was much of a thing in America. Was it a British thing?
jessamyn: What are you talking about?
mathowie: If you scroll down to the bottom, the second or third-to-last post, there was a Paddington Bear megapost that people loved to death on Metafilter but didn't resonate with me, like I was too old of a kid, or it just didn't
- play in America much? I don't know. Or I guess it's from the '60s? Huh.
jessamyn: '76. It started in 1965. Is this a filthy light thief post?
mathowie: filthy light thief.
jessamyn: Ask filthy light thief. He can tell you more.
mathowie: I was just like huh, people really loved this and I don't care one way or the other about Paddington Bear. But yeah. Anything else?
jessamyn: What does Peru have to do with it?
cortex: What's Peru but a second-hand emo -
mathowie: (falsetto) What's Peru got to do with it?
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
jessamyn: I'm going to ask my questions on the Internet, where people will respect me and answer them.
cortex: I just didn't have an answer. I had to cover it.
jessamyn: You didn't even know.
cortex: I don't even know. I don't know what Peru had to do with it.
cortex: Perhaps you should peruse the thread.
jessamyn: Aughhhh, stop!
mathowie: Ohhh, snap! (chuckles)
- Anything else on Metafilter?
cortex: A couple happy random things from Metatalk. There was the fun Merry Christmas thread, where everybody was just sort of posting
- Christmas photos.
jessamyn: Enjoyed it.
cortex: It was a nice time. And griphus posted a sort of 'start your engines' post for next month's Interactive Fiction Contest, our third one we're doing.
jessamyn: Oh, yeah, I saw that!
cortex: So yeah, if you're interested in writing Choose Your Own Adventures or more elaborate fictional interactive worlds or whatnot, check it out, and there's a bunch of tools now.
cortex: Seriously, if you've got just a little bit of an idea for a Choose Your Own Adventure-y sort of story that has a little bit of choice but isn't to complicated, Twine is amazing for just knowing nothing. Like, I've used a lot of program tools designed to be friendly to newbies, and they're variously not bad, but Twine was the first thing that was like, I could teach my mom to use this, so--
mathowie: Oh, neat.
cortex: --I'm kind of excited to see if there will be more uptake from people who are like, yeah, I have 2,000 words that I want to put into a simple Choose Your Own Adventure format, and we'll actually be able to do it this time.
- Because Inform is an interesting language, but it's not as friendly as it wants to be.
jessamyn: It's a little obtuse.
cortex: But if you want to do the interactive fiction-type thing, I also, we've got mention in there of Playfic, which is Andy Baio's interactive fiction online community thing that he built a couple years ago. But yeah.
mathowie: And remember, if you are in front of a house--oh, yeah, that's how you should pitch this--
mathowie: If you're in front of a boarded house with a mailbox, you should probably go north and enter the Interactive--
jessamyn: Always open the mailbox.
mathowie: And enter the Interactive Fiction Contest next month.
cortex: Well done. (chuckles)
mathowie: There was a New Year's thread.
jessamyn: The Happy New Year thread from the first person to enter the New Year way on the other side of the world.
mathowie: Ooh, neat.
cortex: I liked that image I saw on mlkshk that was a picture of a stern-looking bald eagle going that just said, a bald eagle in front of an American flag, that says, "New Year's starts when we get there."
mathowie: Yeah, that was kind of anti-climactic when a New Zealand person I follow on Twitter posted like 2 p.m. my time.
cortex: Yeah, it was like, ah, fuck, people are already [??].
jessamyn: That's what I liked about Y2K, though!
jessamyn: Like, I could know by before my party even started that my computer wasn't going to stop working, because this guy in New Zealand's computer was still working!
mathowie: Yeah, I used that on 2000, definitely. Like, loading webcams, you know, like, there's (laughing) no planes falling in the sky! Everything's going to be okay.
jessamyn: Right. It must be all right!
mathowie: Everything's going to be okay. It's going to be okay! Yes. But yeah, it was weird seeing people celebrate at 2 p.m. going like, "What?! Wait up, guys! Spoiler alert! Come on."
jessamyn: (laughs) Spoiler alert: the year changed.
mathowie: (laughs) I haven't got there yet! It's on TiVo!
- Sweet. Alright, cool. Is that about it?
cortex: One other thing--
jessamyn: I think that's it! What? What?
cortex: I don't have a proper Music one down but I do want to mention one really nice track by chococat, he posted a version of Mele Kalikimaka--
mathowie: Oh, right, yeah. Yes.
cortex: That's just fantastic and chococat-y and you should listen to it.
jessamyn: (sings) Mele Kalikimaka is the ba-da-ba!
mathowie: I was totally going to close out the show with it, which I will continue to do.
mathowie: But yes, that was my first, my grade school play I had to do singing the entire class where you dress like a tree kind of thing was Christmas around the world and we had to learn Mele Kalikimaka in second grade, and I still remember the words, and that was a dumb thing I had to do (chuckling) for my family for years afterwards. Like "Go on, go on, show Grandma! Sing Mele Kalikimaka!"
jessamyn: So why don't you play that on the piano?
mathowie: I should! I haven't looked for the music.
cortex: You should work that sucker out.
mathowie: I will look for the music and work it out. Awesome.
mathowie: Alright. Good January, or December, everyone.
jessamyn: Nice talking to you guys.
jessamyn: Happy New Year.
cortex: Happy New Year.
mathowie: Alright. You too. Bye-bye.
sfx: (Music: Mele Kalikimaka by chococat)
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- beryllium, 228 segments
- Pronoiac, 3